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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Car Accidents in New York During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Nobody anticipates being involved in a car crash in New York, and dealing with a collision during the shutdown of the city due to the coronavirus pandemic can be even more difficult. While many people are no longer driving and rideshare accidents are occurring much less frequently, essential workers according to Executive Order 202.8 still must reach their jobs, and others must drive to the grocery store and the pharmacy. As such, motor vehicle crashes are still happening in New York, albeit at a much lower rate than usual. During this time, it may be extremely complicated to seek medical attention for your injuries, and you may have difficulty reaching an insurance agent.

If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision in New York, it is important to speak with a New York motor vehicle accident lawyer about filing a claim for financial compensation. In the meantime, the following information can help you to understand some of the recent complications that may arise in a New York car crash case.

Insurance Claims and Lawsuit for Serious Injuries

For most car accident cases in New York, the claims process will begin with the injured person filing an auto insurance claim. Since New York operates on a “no fault” system, even if another motorist is clearly at fault for a crash, you will likely need to begin the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim through your own policy. However, people who have sustained serious injuries in New York car crashes caused by another motorist’s reckless or careless behavior, or as a result of an auto defect, may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Yet in order to be eligible for compensation from an auto insurance company or as a result of filing a lawsuit, you will need to take steps that may be much more difficult than they would be under typical circumstances.

Seeking Assessment from a Healthcare Provider Will be More Difficult

If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you will need medical evidence to support your case. If you do not seek an assessment and treatment from a healthcare provider and your condition worsens as a result, the at-fault party may be able to argue successfully that you are partially to blame for the severity of your injuries and that, under New York law, your damages award should be reduced accordingly.

Yet going to an urgent care center during the COVID-19 pandemic, or even going to a doctor’s office, may pose a risk of exposure. For someone who is at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 who has been in a car crash, that person might decide that it is best to wait to see a doctor in person. Many healthcare providers in New York have telehealth or telemedicine options, and you may be able to have a cursory assessment this way. However, sometimes seeing a doctor in person may be necessary.

Insurance Company Delays

Beyond the difficulties of seeing a doctor, insurance companies, like many other businesses, are experiencing delays. You may need to wait for an extended time before you can even report the accident to your insurance company, not to mention the possible extended wait time to have an adjuster begin his or her investigation.

Contact a New York Auto Accident Lawyer for Help

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash, you should get in touch with a New York car accident lawyer as soon as you can to ensure that you remain eligible for compensation. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.


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